Lifesaving Sport

The Royal Life Saving Society UK is the National Governing Body for pool-based Lifesaving Sport - a sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation. Lifesaving Sport is the only sport whose skills are first learned for humanitarian purposes.

As showcased in our new promotional video, Lifesaving Sport is a competitive and dynamic international sport, with a variety of fun and challenging activities that take place in and out of the water at swimming pools and the beach. It is also an important vehicle to engage young people in lifesaving and support drowning prevention. 

Athlete at R.A.S.C.A.L.S 

Unbelievably at just 17 years old, Luke Waterfall has already been a competitive lifesaver for 12 years! His lifesaving journey began at Blyth Beach Carnival where he first took part aged five years old. He is now a member of the fantastic Ripley Amateur Swimming Club and Lifesavers (RASCALS), but still enjoys going back to compete at Blyth to this day. 

Luke is a longstanding regular at national and international competitions, taking part in the ILS World Championships, SLSGB Nationals, Welsh Nationals and of course; the RLSS UK Nationals, where he made his first appearance aged 12. He has won numerous titles and medals at all ages including at Worlds 2022 which he describes as his best experience to date: 

“The World Lifesaving championships were my best experience as a competitor. It was an extremely high level of competition with amazing athletes. I also liked competing as part of the GBR team relays.”  

At this event, he took home multiple medals as part of Team GBR - Gold in the Medley Relay and Bronze in the Obstacle Relay and Beach Sprint. Some of Luke's other notable achievements include being the RLSS Open Champion in the 100m Manikin Carry with Fins and being the Youth Super Lifesaver record-holder, which both happen to be his favourite events!

To achieve this level of success, Luke trains in the pool five times per week for a total of 10 hours. This is in addition to two gym sessions per week and athletic sprint training once a week.  

This training continued to pay off at the 2023 international events where Luke put in a great performance at both the European Youth Championships in Poland (Team GBR) and Commonwealths in Canada (Team England). At the latter, Luke was 7th overall in the Men’s Individuals – an amazing achievement! 

Travel is one of the reasons that Luke enjoys the sport so much. He says, “The best thing about taking part in lifesaving sport is the friends you make, the experiences you have and the places you get to go.” 

He would love to see more people get into lifesaving sport because “above all it is fun – but it also keeps you fit and healthy!” 

Luke’s contributions to lifesaving were noted in the RLSS UK Honours Ceremony 2022 where he was awarded Young Lifesaver of the Year and a Certificate of Merit.  

“The best thing about taking part in lifesaving sport is the friends you make, the experiences you have and the places you get to go.”